References

Below are sources I have consulted in my studies and sources which have shaped my understanding of spiritual direction and the life of the spirit (both as a participant and as a practitioner).

This is more or less a complete list of much of what I’ve consulted. Most of them are very profitable reading, but the ones I especially enjoyed or have found useful I have listed on the Inspirations: Literature page.


Bamford, Christopher. “Thinking as Prayer.” Parabola, Fall (2006):10-18.

Bieber, Nancy L. Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment: the sacred art of finding your way. Skylight Paths, 2016.

Bolz-Weber, Nadia. Shameless: a sexual reformation. Convergent, 2019. A call for a new sexual ethic, this book raises important questions to help one discern one’s relational and sexual ethic.

The Book of Privy Counsel. See Butcher, Carmen Acevedo, translator, and Johnston, William, editor, below. The companion work to The Cloud of Unknowing, this is a fourteenth-century spiritual classic by an author who wished to remain anonymous on which much writing about contemplation, both classic and contemporary, is based.

Bourgeault, Cynthia. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening. Cowley, 2004. A guidebook for the contemplative practice of centering prayer.

Butcher, Carmen Acevedo, translator. The Cloud of Unknowing with the Book of Privy Counsel. Shambala, 2009. The Cloud and the Book of Privy Counsel are spiritual classics from the fourteenth century on which much writing about contemplation, both classic and contemporary, are based. I especially like Butcher’s translation; she translates by a primary focus on sense as opposed to taking a literal approach. As a result the text becomes very readable and fresh, and the sense of what the anonymous author was saying comes vividly to life.

The Cloud of Unknowing. See Butcher, Carmen Acevedo, translator (above), and Johnston, William, editor (below). This is a fourteenth-century spiritual classic by an author who wished to remain anonymous on which much writing about contemplation, both classic and contemporary, is based.

Cone, James H. Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: the making of a black theologian. Orbis Books, 2018.

Dougherty, Rose Mary. “Experiencing the Mystery of God’s Presence: The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction” in Sacred is the Call, Suzanne Buckley, ed. Crossroad Publishing, 2005.

Edwards, Tilden. Spiritual director, spiritual companion: guide to tending the soul. Paulist P, 2001.

Fox, Matthew. Original Blessing: a primer in creation spirituality presented in four paths, twenty-six themes, and two questions. Bear & Company, 1983.

Fox, Matthew. Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: lessons for transforming evil in soul and society. Three Rivers Press, 1999.

Freeman, Emily P. The next right thing: a simple, soulful practice for making life decisions. Revell, 2019.

Guenther, Margaret. Holy Listening: the art of spiritual direction. Cowley, 1992.

Hart, Thomas N. The Art of Christian Listening. Paulist P, 1980. This work is a guide to Christian helping relationships, including spiritual direction where the focus is on listening to the story of another with the aim of providing companionship on their spiritual journey and helping discern the leading of Spirit in that person’s life.

Johnson, Fenton. At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life. WW Norton & Co., 2020. This beautifully written work examines the lives of creative solitaries and how they incorporated solitude into their lives in order to produce beauty, truth and love for all people and all of creation.

Johnston, William, editor. The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counsel. Doubleday, 1973. This version of the text includes a very short, but useful Foreword by Huston Smith and a long introduction by William Johnston which places the text in historical and spiritual context.

Laird, Martin. Into the Silent Land: A guide to the Christian practice of contemplation. Oxford UP, 2006.

May, Gerald G. The Awakened Heart: Opening yourself to the love you need. Harper, 1991.

May, Gerald G. “Varieties of Spiritual Companionship” in Shalem News On-Line, vol. xxii, No. 1 Winter, 1998.

Nouwen, Henri JM. Following Jesus: finding our way home in an age of anxiety. Convergent, 2019.

Nouwen, Henri JM. The Wounded Healer: ministry in contemporary society. 2nd Edition. Image, 1990.

Roberts, Matthias. Beyond Shame: creating a healthy sex life on your own terms. Fortress, 2020.

Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ: how a forgotten reality can change everything we se, hope for, and believe. Convergent, 2019.

Savin, Olga, translator. The way of a pilgrim. Shambhala, 2019.

Underhill, Evelyn. The Spiritual Life: Four broadcast talks by Evelyn Underhill. Martino Publishing, 2013. This book is a reprint of a series of collected talks given by Evelyn Underhill in the Autumn of 1936 and published in 1937.

Zahnd, Brian. Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: the scandalous truth of the very good news. Waterbrook, 2017.


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